For fun and excitement the top party streets in America to visit are Beale in Memphis and Bourbon in New Orleans. These two places have much in common and a whole lot that sets them apart.
In the heart of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street is six blocks of nightclubs, hotels and restaurants. The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, established in 1718. It is 12 blocks of hotels, museums, shops, restaurants, and bars housed in buildings with beautiful architectural detail. The streets of the French Quarter were established in a grid, making it easy to stroll among the neighborhood and enjoy the ambiance. At night the area comes alive in a whole different way, especially Bourbon Street.
Beale Street, Memphis’ most famous avenue, was created in 1841 and lies in the heart of downtown Memphis. Beale Street itself is three blocks of nightclubs, restaurants and shops. Beale Street is the place to go to experience the Blues, the music genre that came to life on that very street. The area surrounding Beale Street has a more modern feel with many fresh faced buildings and arenas such as Peabody Place, FedEx Forum, and AutoZone Park – home to the Memphis Redbirds.
The New Orleans motto is Laissez les bon temps rouler, which translated means let the good times roll. Appropriately, Bourbon Street is the best known party street in New Orleans, if not the world. It is truly a party street with a lot of laughter and sound of voices, and jazz music spilling out of the many nightclubs. It is a raucous place where anything goes.
In downtown Memphis, in keeping with the feel of the blues music that made it famous, things are very relaxed. All along the way, you can hear the Blues coming from the many nightclubs, including the famous B. B. King’s Blues Club. Good music and good food define the area.
Perhaps not just famous, but infamous, there are places you do not want to miss on both Beale and Bourbon Streets. Blues City Café on Beale, once visited by President Bill Clinton is the must go place for barbecue. The Rum Boogie Café not only offers a fabulous selection of beer and rum drinks not to be missed, but you must see the coolest collection of over 350 autographed guitars. The bar with the most famous drink on Bourbon Street, the hurricane, is Pat O’Brien’s. This is the kind of hurricane you want to experience at least once. On the rowdier side, Bourbon is home to Larry Flynt’s Barely Legal Club. The cuisine of New Orleans cannot be surpassed, with such great restaurants as Galatoire’s and for seafood, Mike Anderson’s is a popular place.
Not to be left out, both Bourbon and Beale are hosts to some great annual events. The celebration of Mardi gras, normally sometime in February or March, originated in America in New Orleans. The annual Beale Street Music Festival has become a world class event with the greatest musical talents, since it’s beginning in 1986.
If you are looking for good times, great music, and fabulous food, you cannot go wrong with either Bourbon or Beale. If you can only visit one, you will certainly have the time of your life. However, you will be missing something else without a visit to the other.